First-day Jitters: Dealing with Anxiety

Going back to school can be stressful, for your child and for you. The end of summer, new teachers, new classmates and the fear of the unknown can all stir up anxiety. If you notice a rise in your child’s worries, there are steps you can take to help ease their concerns.

Practice routines.

A week or two before school starts, get your child used to school-year routines. Set a regular bedtime and wake-up time, practice packing a school bag, even pick out tomorrow’s clothes the night before. The more prepared your child is, the easier the transition will be.

Get to know the new school.

If your child is starting at a new school, get to know the place to help ease some stress. Take a tour of the school before the year begins and spend time on the playground or in the classroom. This way, the first day won’t feel so new.

Don’t avoid the anxiety.

Talk about your child’s fears and acknowledge it’s okay to be nervous in new situations. Then, focus on all the fun stuff the new school year will bring.

Set up a back-to-school buddy.

Heading into a new situation is much easier with a trusted friend. Arrange for your child and a buddy to start the first day as a pair. Anxiety doesn’t stand a chance!

The first few days will be tough, but with your new routines, the back-to-school jitters will be gone before you know it.

Sources:, “Back to School Anxiety,” (accessed March 29, 2019), available at;, “5 Tips to Ease Back-to-School Anxiety,” (accessed March 29, 2019), available at

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